Date of Award
Master of Science
Many cellular processes require drastic change in the cells morphology. Proteins help stimulate these morphological changes by binding to the membranes surface and imposing their curvature on the structure. The dynamics behind the collective generation of curvature in a membrane by a group of proteins is still illusive. Using coarse grained molecular dynamics with a langevin thermostat, we plan to shed light on these dynamics by modeling a nanoparticle after one member of the BAR domain family of proteins (F-BAR domains). This particular member of the family is gently curved compared to others and binds to the membrane only through their charged concave surface. We attempt to show whether or not a group of nanoparticles of a given curvature and adhesion strength (attraction to the membranes surface) is a meta-stable configuration. We go as far as to define different morphologies based on their average cluster size, number of monomers, and the probability distribution of finding two adjacent nanoparticles a distance d away from each other. By scaling down the system, we provide an explanation as to why these different morphologies occur. We then explore the effect of nanoparticle number density and lipid rigidity on the types of morphologies generated.
dissertation or thesis originally submitted to the local University of Memphis Electronic Theses & dissertation (ETD) Repository.
Olinger, Alexander David, "A Computational Study of Anisotropically Curved Nanoparticles Binding to Lipid Membranes" (2015). Electronic Theses and Dissertations. 1159.